Kasten’s choice: Mike Rizzo

Nats’ Rizzo Proving Up to the TaskThe Post
Mike Rizzo went down to the Dominican Republic and completely changed the Nationals whole entire operation there in three days. Forgive me if I have a little skepticism about this though it sounds good, a fresh sign of front office competence. Stan Kasten is clearly pleased and seems to be using this as a way to get Rizzo promoted. I am fine with that even if the new facility is not quite what Kasten made it out to be.

Rizzo seems to be the sportswriters and copy editors’ pick as next GM too.

Rizzo Explains The DR Mission

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Where are they now? David McHenry

I saw this at the bottom of a Nationals Journal post:

Kory Casto: He added 15 pounds of muscle this offseason. The lean, sinewy player of last year is hidden somewhere under a lot of new bulk. I overheard a few guys talking about it yesterday, in fact — ‘Hey, you gotta see Casto.’ Well, today I saw. Evidently, he decided that if his future lies as a bench player, he might as well have some pop. “If I’m going to be a role player,” he said, “there’s no point in trying to be lean. Speed has never been my thing anyway. I might as well thump.” As he spoke, Casto had some kind of Russian iron “kettle bell” — it looked like a remnant of a shipwreck — right next to his locker. “I used to run on treadmills in the offseason, do distance running,” Casto said. “I stopped that. It was lunges, shuffles, stuff for explosiveness. Ninety minute workouts. Here’s the guy he worked out with: Dave McHenry.

I thought to myself, I wonder if that is the same Dave McHenry who played a few downs as quarterback in the 1996 Penn State vs. Northern Illinois game. Sure enough, after checking his Web site, he’s the same guy. McHenry is now a personal trainer in Portland, Oregon.

Odd, the things one remembers. I think McHenry wore #13.

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Redskins Offseason Champions again!

Redskins Land HaynesworthThe Post
Redskins Retain Hall for Six Years, $55 MillionThe Post
Come on Marvin Harrison! Come on T.J. Houshmandzadeh! You too can make a fortune and go between 7-9 and 10-6!

Speaking of Redskins, a friend wants to renew his season tickets but cannot make it to most of the games. Anybody interested in buying some of his tickets?

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Just fire Bowden already; pitching improved on second day

“They’re Just Making Bowden Endure As Much Pain As Possible”The Post
Nats sources say GM’s job in jeopardyThe Wash. Times
It sure looks like Jim Bowden is getting his comeupance for years of Reds cronyism, poor personal decisions, annoying (and occasionally dangerous) personal behavior, questionable wadrobe and reckless roster moves. There are some reports that the only reason Bowden has not been let go is because of his friendship with Mark Lerner. The irony is of course that the friendship is leaving Bowden twisting in the wind in a public spectacle. Be a good friend Mark and let the guy go before even the biggest sharks, vultures and just plain haters in the Natmosphere feel sorry for him. Your dad, Ted, apparently wanted him out at the end of last season!

THOMAS BOSWELL – Out of the Mess Comes ProgressThe Post
The irony of this whole situation is that Bowden actually had a decent offseason and the Nationals look to be much improved in 2009.

Young Arms Exhibit Plenty of Potential Against the TigersThe Post
Spring Training Report The Wash. Times

Collin Balester and Jordan Zimmermann both threw two hitless innings yesterday. Zimmermann struck out three of the six batters he faced. The Nats beat the Tigers 2-1 in Viera.

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National Chili Day is TODAY — free bowl of chili at Hard Times

Judging by the traffic I got yesterday, a lot of you are very happy that today is National Chili Day. I am afraid my wait will be considerably longer to get served my free bowl of Hard Times Café chili (with any purchase) now.

Hard Times Café has locations throughout Virginia, Maryland and even one in Raleigh, N.C. Tell them I sent you.

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Jose Rijo fired, is Jim Bowden next? I hope so

Nats to fire special assistant RijoESPN

The Washington Nationals have decided to fire special assistant Jose Rijo and will shut down the team’s academy in the Dominican Republic as part of a restructuring of the team’s operations in Latin American in the wake of an age-changing scandal involving one of the team’s top prospects, several baseball sources have confirmed.

Good, hopefully, this won’t be the first shoe to drop. The Nationals have also severed ties with Rijo’s baseball academy and are looking at making Fernando Ravelo, general manager for the Dominican Winter League Tigres de Licey, as director of director of Dominican operations. Ravelo also runs an academy.

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